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Antarctica displaced Australia eastwards and this probably caused the eruption of the Kerguelen flood basalts at a fault line. From the ridge line on the Google Earth it suggests that the two continents travelled about 2600 km together (during a period of about 26 million years - considering an average plate movement of 10cm/year).


Since about 34 mya, the opening of the Southern Ocean bed (developing on both sides of the South-east Indian Ridge) moved Australia moved away from Antarctica and into its present position. During that time the Kerguelen Igneous Province was separated from another part of the same flood basalt at Broken Ridge.


I have depicted Antarctica’s entire movement and the estimated timeframe for this sequence. Click on the image for larger version





















So it can be seen why so many workers have assumed that Australia was originally attached to Antarctica and have developed their models of Gondwana from this.


All small Earth protagonists have also been confused by these assumptions and this has led to serious errors in their modelling.


The mid-ocean ridge between the two continents, the good fit together of the two continents, along with the flood basalt areas - now in two sections - all conspire to form this assumption.


However, my modelling shows that Antarctica had its origins as a land mass between east Asia and South America, some 250 million years ago. Only within the last 65 million years has Antarctica been in the Indian Ocean area where it collided with Australia in such a way as to change its shape (thus making it a near perfect fit). Its final separation left the ridge marks between the two continents.


Summary on Post Clam-shell Expansion


While the Earth had being undergoing the lop-sided clam-shell expansion which affected the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas mainly, the landmasses on the other side of the planet were undergoing stretching in some areas as adjustments back to the Earth’s rounded-ness needed to take place, on a regular basis. This process continued after the clam-shell sequence had finished and involved the rupture of continental crust on the western side and the development of new crustal material in the Atlantic and Arctic ocean areas. These new ocean beds completed the fragmentation of Gondwana and Laurasia into the continents we know today.

























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